Knowing of our family roots is important, but discovering it for the first time is powerful. After 47-years, I finally manifested the journey to my grandmothers house near the small village of Castell Umberto, Sicily.
For the most part of my childhood, I was raised on an old orchard east of Perth, which my Grandparents purchased after migrating to Western Australia. I don’t ever remember meeting my Grandfather, he didn’t hang around, but my Grandmother was the matriarch of the property we lived on, and effectively created a little piece of Sicily there. Cactus plants, olive trees, gnocchi and biscotti. I had no idea how ‘wog’ I actually was, which made growing up in Australian culture quite difficult at times.
Last week I was riding through the small mountain villages surrounding Castell Umberto, and I could see my family in the faces of the people … jet black hair and eyes that see through you. There were replicas of my mother, aunties and cousins going about their simple, village routines. I saw an old lady turn back and look at me with the same curious stare of my grandmother as the 500EXC echoed off the walls of her narrow, stone paved street.
I shed tears under my helmet, almost at a loss that I’ve been speaking the wrong language my whole life, but it subsided with a closure of why I am the way I am. My view of the world, pace of living and passion for the things I love make so much more sense now. I have greater clarity surrounding the kind of people who are important to me and the connections I make with them.
One such person is 6-time Enduro World Champion Giovanni Sala.
And with that, I’d like to share this video with you …